My personal description of Google Wave: A bit like Facebook messaging in that you can follow the conversation from the top down and embed photos, videos and links. The difference is that it’s in real-time and you can also attach documents, gadgets, maps and so on. You can also add and remove people from the wave as it goes along, make it public or private, and people can contribute and edit as they see fit.
Clearly it’s a lot more advanced than that, but you get the idea! If you’re not on Wave* or don’t know much about it and would like the official spiel then you can find it here.
So anyway, I’ve been lucky enough to score an invite thanks to @MikeOwcarz and have been messing about with it for about a month now. So far I’ve found it all a bit overrated: I can totally see the collaborative benefits, but for me personally it serves no real purpose at this moment in time. In fact, I can’t say that I’ve really used it for anything more than instant messaging until the other day when I thought I’d have a look at some of the public waves. This was inspired by a tweet by @andyheadworth explaining the joys of public searches. To do a public search, type “with:public” and your search term in the Google Wave search bar and see what comes up. I, for one, hadn’t even realised that public waves existed so I had a rather excited half hour seeing what I could find!
Well in all honestly there wasn’t an awful lot of public waves that I could be bothered to follow (lets be fair though; this is a new tool still in Preview stage), but I did see a rather inspired use of a wave as a CV. I’m not going to try and link to it because a) I don’t know if it’s possible, b) anyone without Wave won’t be able to see it and c) well, there isn’t a c) but everyone knows a good argument should have at least three points to it. Anyway, it’s called “CV: Scott Bradley” for those who want to search and have a look. It’s not amazing, but it did get me thinking about how well Wave could be used as a tool in this respect.
I think dear old Scott has used his wave quite nicely on the whole. He’s attached his CV, written a nice little paragraph about his situation and has embedded a location map. The bit I don’t understand is that he’s then also copied and pasted his CV into the body of the wave which surely defeats the object, but there you go! Scott got me thinking though; this could be a great tool for job seekers when (if?) it goes more mainstream. Depending on your career, you could make a whole online portfolio with video, work samples and links to your websites and/or social media pages. People could provide feedback, ask questions and get in touch quickly and easily. I appreciate you can probably do this on a website with a bit of IT know-how, but this is a very useable and accessible format for those not in the know and, as one of Google’s little gems, it will surely be beautifully searchable!
Now I’m not overly technically minded so it’s possible I’m being totally obtuse here. Perhaps putting your details on a public wave opens you up to all sorts of ID or intelligence theft, or maybe it opens you up to abusive remarks and other such horrors, but it’s a nice idea and I take my hat off to Scott for being one of the first people (that I can find, anyway) to use it in such a creative way.
Public CVs and portfolios might not be for every person or profession but it did make me think about where the future of CVs could be headed.
Note: If you want to make one of your waves public then you need to include firstname.lastname@example.org as a participant. This is easier said than done because when you type in the email address Wave tells you there’s no account for this email address. Instead, you have to go to ‘Manage Contacts’ and add a new contact from there. ‘Public’ will then appear in your contacts and you can add it from there.
* I still have a couple of spare Google Wave invites so, if you haven’t been able to get one yet, talk to me on Twitter and I’ll happily oblige on a first come, first served basis.